Learning my New Business: Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Since I had never been in the network marketing industry before and had no clue what to do, I was a sponge for any information I could get. When I opened my starter package, I felt a little overwhelmed, but my excitement for my new career experiment kept me going. There was a lot of information, and I had no idea where to begin. Turns out, it’s not unlike buying a new TV or a desk from IKEA: it helps to read the manual. My kit was like a manual that told me exactly where to start, so I just followed the directions. I popped in a training CD, and I eventually learned that there were 3 things I needed to focus on:
Personal Development. Even though I consider myself a bit of a self-help junkie, I always poo-pooed this part of network marketing. I thought it was phony and cult-like… until I decided to be open-minded and give it a try. Remember, when I committed to starting this business, I made a decision to actually step up and do what it takes to succeed. There would be no excuses. So I figured I better do what the guy on the training CD said and make a little time for personal development. I’ll admit, that was the easy place for me to start. I love that stuff.
After all, that’s the stuff that helped me get out of an unhappy career in the first place.
The high value of personal development was deeply ingrained in the culture of this company. After noticing the way people interacted with each other, and seeing the happiness and positivity that was being shared, I thought, “why not embrace this? What do I have to lose?” I knew I had a lot to gain. I could either choose to be stubborn and reject it, or I could choose to try it and work towards a better me.
And I realized that they were on to something here.
I thought about old work experiences. I thought of all the 2 times I showed up at my office to my boss cheering me on and telling me how awesome I was. Or how teamwork was such an integral part of our daily discussions… but when in reality, it was a bunch of individuals getting by, resenting each other for not helping enough, and counting down the days until Friday would roll around. So I started thinking, “why shouldn’t I feel good about who I work with and what I do?” It doesn’t have to be a place where I spend most of my waking hours, only to be wishing I were somewhere else.
I was reminded that work not only can be positive and happy, but that I should expect this out of life.
The System. After personal development, this was the second easiest thing for me to tackle. I was always a good student. If I could get paid to be a student for the rest of my life, I would take that job! Learning has always been within my comfort zone. I knew that if I didn’t have a good attitude, and if I didn’t know what to do, then how could I go out and do anything? Everyone with success in this company said that all I had to do was follow the system, be patient, and I would have success too. Those are the people I’m going to listen to! I couldn’t follow the system until I learned it though. So that’s what I did. The learning tools were all there and easily accessible, but I couldn’t just study all the time. I had to get out there and do it.
Activity. This piece intimidated me the most. You mean I actually have to start telling people about this now? Darn, I thought people would just be drawn to my natural magnetism. I learned that people want this, and if I don’t share it with them, someone else will.
Let’s be clear about a popular misconception about making money without doing any work. I did enough research about this to know that no one said that if I come in, sign up, and do nothing that I will be successful. Stats say that 70% of people who start a network marketing business get their business starter kit and then don’t do a thing. Many don’t even open the box. I believe it, because I’ve seen it. If you invested several hundred thousand dollars into opening a franchise, would you take the time to learn how to run your business? After that, would you show up to work? How many hours a day would you expect yourself to work? How long would you stick with the franchise before you decided to quit? Just because this investment was much smaller, didn’t mean I couldn’t take it seriously.
But it did mean that I could choose how much time I wanted to invest in this each day or week.
Ultimately, I was able to focus on becoming better by learning and practicing. I had to intermingle the personal development, learning, and practicing like a graceful dance. Or maybe more like a hair routine. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Nothing fancy. The more I got out and applied what I learned the easier it became. I’m still learning every day… just like I did in dentistry. Like with any job, I have to practice and continue to grow and learn. I was a lot better at prepping a crown after 10 years than I was in my 3rd year of dental school. So why should this be any different? Just like in dentistry, some days are good, and some days are bad. But for me, the good is better than any good day was in dentistry, and the bad is never nearly as bad.